Comparative Textbook Evaluation: Representation of Learning Objectives in Locally and Internationally Published ELT Textbooks

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Gonbad Kavous University, Gonbad-e-Kavous, Iran & Ph.D. Candidate of Applied Linguistics, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Guilan, Iran

Abstract

The present study evaluated the learning objectives represented in the recent Iranian nation-wide ELT textbooks, i.e. Prospect and Vision series, and compared them to those in the internationally-published textbook of Four Corners. To this end, Bloom’s revised taxonomy of learning objectives was utilized as the analytical framework to scrutinize the tasks and exercises of the textbooks using a researcher-made coding scheme based on the taxonomy and investigate the extent to which they represent lower-order thinking skills (LOTS) (i.e. remembering, understanding, and applying) and higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) (i.e. analyzing, evaluating, and creating). Inter-coder reliability procedure was carried out to ensure the consistency of the scheme (Phi-coefficient =.89). Results of chi-square analysis revealed that Four Corners series dealt with LOTS and HOTS significantly more and above Prospect and Vision series. Furthermore, while Prospect and Vision series portrayed a completely imbalanced view towards LOTS and HOTS, Four Corners provided a somehow balanced representation in the tasks and exercises. The findings make the ELT teachers aware of the cognitive levels in the textbooks and recommend them to add supplementary materials when needed. Moreover, the results point to the significance of modifying the cognitive load of the Prospect and Vision series.

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